I went by the Graduate School today and to be told that I would be graduating this weekend. A smart decision on their part as I certainly had no plans of registering for another semester of somnambulism. Don't get me wrong; there were some classes I liked attending. On the whole though, the charm of academia has faded with a resounding finality.
To ensure no f**kups regarding my exit, I had to endure a pretty torrid first week. All my doing of course. The price of procrastination, let's say. I know not of too many acquaintances who are not devotees of working frantically at the last minute. Right through college (and considering I've been in college, collecting degrees for about 7 years now, I speak from some serious experience) the tendency has been to dawdle everytime something substantial needed to be done. On cue, beer and the meaning of life and everything in between became a lot more fascinating than the work at hand. The end result, at least for me, was to view the shambles that I faithfully passed off as assignments, projects, reports, theses etcetra. with a hint of disappointment; telling myself that I was capable of better sounded hollow since there really was no personal point of reference for that mythic level of quality.
This last project however, put the cap on it. Let's face it... yours truly is not getting any younger, so it should have been no surprise, really that the phrase 'by the skin of my teeth' is being bandied about. Landing in the U.S after 60 hours of travel did nothing positive for my system and yet, did I do the logical thing and fall asleep ? No. Thanks to my marked reluctance to work on the paper at any point of time over the last 7 months, I pulled an all-nighter (this after 2 beers and a round of cards) and wrote it in one go, last Sunday. The first instinct was to congratulate myself on another herculean feat pulled off but I found that I could not. Right then and there, I told myself that procrastination, much as I love it, has to be cut down before it costs me. You see, people tend to pat you on the back & all is joy, jollity and song when the close shaves occur. When you are 'effed however, you stand alone and mirth-inducing themes such as 'things could be worse' and 'we are like this only' don't exactly have you breaking out into ready guffaws. The 'I be bambooed' experience is not on my list of must-do's before I make my way back to the pavillion.
At this juncture, let me touch upon something I've noticed over the past year. Call it a subconscious trend, but one apparently is not allowed to bitch, whine, crib or engage in any similar emotion, in the company of one's peers. It's just not done. If some poor unfortunate does vent, s/he is told to pipe down in no uncertain terms, either with the help of generous measures of alcohol or some handy maxim. If neither of these work, the venter is accorded the status generally reserved for plague and a subtle pattern of avoidance begins. Since when we became all Victorian and stoic, I don't know. I could be wrong about all this, but if it is something you've also noticed, reader, I'd like to know.
In any case, I'm now on the verge of pulling my usual stunt i.e. doing the unexpected and leaving the U.S right after completing my degree. To say the local populace (my friends / roommates) are nonplussed would be an understatement. While most of them are subscribing to the 'Its your funeral' theory of life, there are some here who fancy themselves quite the Agony Aunt. To hear them go on about what's best for me would induce some serious thoughts of homicide were it not for the fact that I'm resigned to no one understanding anything I do.
It would be nice to think of returning to India to work, with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart and all that jazz, but life has thrown its regular googly. I should have been used to this, but I'm not. That's not such a bad thing, now that I think of it.
Song for the moment: On the road again - Willie Nelson